WASHINGTON, D.C. (KCBS) -- The owners of San Francisco's famous Tadich Grill are facing a national backlash over a report alleging they shunned their daughter because of her interracial relationship with the late Oakland Raiders great Gene Upshaw.
The Buich family has owned the Tadich Grill since 1928. Terri Upshaw, formerly Terri Buich, told Washington Post columnist Lonnae O'Neal that her family disowned her after learning she was in love with the Hall of Famer.
Terri Upshaw's father, Steve Buich, claimed Wednesday in an email to the San Francisco Chronicle his decades-long estrangement from his daughter and her family has nothing to do with race.
Follwing a stellar 15-year caree with the Raiders, Gene Upshaw had a 25-year run as head of the NFL players union, based in Washington, D.C.
"When Terri told her family that she was going to go to Washington to be with Gene Upshaw, she says they told her, 'that's it, change your name, don't ever call us again, you're out of the family,'" said O'Neal.
Upshaw told the Post she's tried to reconcile with her family a few times since 1983 the year she left for Washington. Gene and Terri were married in 1986.
"She went to her parents' home after her oldest was born, he was three months old, and she says she was ordered out of the home," said O'Neal.
The Upshaws were married for decades before Gene Upshaw died in 2008 of pancreatic cancer at the age of 63.
According to the report, the Buich family has never met the couple's two now adult sons. Gene Upshaw's son from his first marriage sued Terri Upshaw in 2009 over a disputed will that left the entirety of his father's estate to her. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2011.
The Buich family did not respond to KCBS requests for comment. In an email to the Chronicle, Steve Buich said "This is an issue between a father and his daughter and does not extend to the rest of the family who have been in contact with Terri and her sons, despite what the (Washington Post) article suggests." Steve Buich also claimed in the email the decades-long estrangement from his daughter "has never been a matter of race."
Establish in 1849, it is the oldest restaurant in San Francisco, and opened a second location in Washington, D.C. last month. Upshaw, who lives in Northern Virginia, spoke of her family's alleged racism after the D.C. location was opened.
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